This post is part of the Carnival of Maternity Leave over at Strocel.com. Visit for more posts on maternity leave from August 3- 15th.
I re-read my post on the Highlights and lowlights of mat leave. And I realized it was really just about the lowlights or lessons learnt. I certainly had some bleak moments in that year, and I obviously needed to get some of that out and into the ethernet. But there were lots of good times too.
1 - mat leave top up
My organization topped up my mat leave for 17 weeks. This was very helpful financially and one of the reasons my husband was able to take 5 weeks off when the little man was born. I married a younger man not as far along in his career. So the loss of my income for a year was daunting. The top-up really helped us out.
2 - exercise helps
On the day I went into labour I had to call my pilates studio and cancel my lesson for that night. And just days before I had been dancing at a friend's place (hubbie and I swing dance). So as soon as the Doctor said it was okay I was back to my exercise. The little man and I took Salsa Babies every Friday. And hubbie did bedtime routine on Wednesday's so I could go to pilates. This little break each week did wonders for my spirit and my body.
3 - time off to travel
We took 3 weeks in the spring to travel to Germany to visit relatives. It was a bit tough financially (the top-up helped), but felt it was the best time to go when I was on mat leave and before the little guy started to walk. It was a fantastic break from the daily routine. And we had so much fun as a family treking around with the little man in his ergo carrier.
4 - finding my groove
With over 15 years in my career I'm used to making fast decisions based on past experience. When you are a new mom you have all sorts of conflicting advice coming from all directions. Books tell you to do things this way, Omi tells you another. It takes a while to figure out your parenting style, the one that works for you, your hubbie and your child. For us getting the sleep sorted was like the foundation to our parenting house. After that we had (a) some sleep and (b) some routine, so we were able to think more clearly through the rest.
5 - cloth diapers
Some may think that I'm grasping here noting cloth diapers as a highlight. But it really was. We started with a service and the intention to CD part time. And we were surprised by how much we both LOVED it. Yup it took a bit more work. And yup it took a bit to get settled into a routine. But in the end it fits perfectly into our parenting style and we are happy to do our bit for the planet.
The best part of all
And of course the best part of my mat leave was my little man. My very active, very head strong, very determined, eating, sleeping, running, talking, laughing little man (who is currently tugging on my shirt to turn his stuffed transformer back into a robot). Going to go give him a hug!!